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Deepwater Wind hopes to power up in New Bedford

Using wind to make power -- that's the idea behind a proposed project off the Massachusetts Coast. (WJAR)

Using wind to make power -- that's the idea behind a proposed project off the Massachusetts Coast.

The Revolution Wind Project will be a combination of an offshore wind farm, south of Martha's Vineyard.

Deepwater Wind has tapped the Port of New Bedford for construction and staging operations.

It will create about 700 construction jobs.

“The seafaring workforce, which is second to none, the infrastructure, the proximity to our wind energy area are just as important to those characteristics are the people here,” said Matt Morrissey, who is Deepwater’s Wind Vice President.

Deepwater Wind has agreed to pay $5.5 million in annual fees to the state and $500,000 annually to the City of New Bedford for use of the port facilities.

“We believe that this industry will work well in New Bedford and it will co-exist successfully with the fishing industry and it can create opportunities over a long period of time for our residents,” said New Bedford’s Mayor Jon Mitchell.

It's also estimated to bring $200 million in economic growth to the region.

“Offshore wind and Revolution Wind will allow power generation to take place just about 35 miles from where we stand right now,” Morrissey said.

Mitchell said it's a prime location.

“We have close proximity to some of the windiest places on the planet, just south of Martha's Vineyard,” he said. “The Department of Energy study we often site states that the areas south of the Vineyard and trailing down the East Coast comprise about 25 percent of the nation's wind reserves.”

Officials said the industry is popular in Northern Europe, but they are hoping it will bring growth to their backyard.

Utilities and state regulators are expected to make a decision on the proposal in January 2018.

If approved. construction would start in 2022 and the project would be up and running in 2023.

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